Houses come in all shapes and sizes. While larger homes are nice, especially if you have an expanding family, sometimes you only have a small home and buying a bigger one isn’t an option. If that’s the case for you, adding a second story to your house could be the right choice.
But when is the right time for you to build a second story onto your existing home? Can you safely add one?
Here are helpful tips that you can help you decide if this major renovation is right for you.
The Need to Add a Second Floor
Adding a new member to the family means a bigger demand for space. If you don’t have a large yard to put in an extra room, or a basement to renovate, your only choice may be to go up. And while having a construction crew working on your house for several weeks, may not be pleasant, it beats having to double up and feeling crushed in your own home.
Can You Build It?
First of all, you need to consider the foundation of your home. Be sure to hire a professional inspector to assess your home, because soft soil, a weak foundation, pressure from water or roots, can make your house unable to accommodate more weight. Another consideration is the existing materials and structure of your home. Light materials which are suitable for a single story home, could crack and break under a second story. If any of these are present in your home, you may need to entirely rebuild the 1st floor, or at the very least strengthen the foundation, so that it can carry the weight of your second floor. Ignoring these simple tips will lead to a disastrous, and possibly deadly situation.
When to Start Building a Second Story
After getting your assessment and the go ahead to build a second story, you need to consider the timing. If it’s winter, adding a second story is possible, but not advisable. The snow and ice makes construction difficult, and more dangerous, adding to the price. Spring, summer and early fall are the best time to begin construction, unless you need to have it done immediately.
Finding the Best Contractor
Do not try to save money by doing the work yourself, this is only going to end in tears and frustration. Hire a professional contractor. And don’t just pick a name out of a hat. Contact a number of construction companies, and ask for references along with quotes. The more references the company provides, the better, and be sure to contact them all. Ask how well the work has held up, what the contractors attitude was like, did they get it done on time, were their any problems and if so how did they get settled.
You want to add value to your home, and give your family the living space they deserve, don’t rush in without an idea of what you need done. Take your time and get it done right the first time.
Do you plan on your renovating your office? Is there a need to renovate it?
Before you decide to take your first step at transforming and remodeling your workplace, you need to consider a number of things. Some of the basic thoughts to ponder first are the following:
Your Goal in Renovating
Ask yourself first: “Why do I have to renovate or remodel my office?”
The best answer to this is that your office is rather old and needs to be refurbished to make it more efficient, safer, and easier to maintain. Some other reasons such as adapting to new technology, expansion, and making it more people friendly are also perfectly valid reasons for you to begin renovating.
How much am I willing to spend?
Since you have the reasons to begin the renovation, you need to consider now how much are you willing to spend for the renovations. Do you plan on doing a major, office wide renovation, or just a specific area or room? Will it involve some rewiring and moving of furniture, or will everything be gutting and rebuilt. Once you have decided how much you can spend and what it’s for, you can start asking for bids from professional contractors.
What should be the design and how long should this take to finish?
Your design is very important because this will reflect the image of your office. Go back to your goal and discuss things with your potential contractor, so that they can come up with a workable design that fits your budget. The turnaround time is also very important so make sure you and your contractor have the same timetable.
Once you’ve thought about these issues, and discussed them with potential contractors, you can hire the renovation company that best suits your needs, and move ahead with confidence.
Let’s face it, renovations and house constructions are expensive but what can you do if your kitchen has been deteriorating or your bathroom has broken tiles? Though you need to spend money on repairs and renovations, it doesn’t mean that you need to spend a lot on it. There are few and simple tips in order for you to turn a renovation into a cheap and yet a robust one.
Few of the tips that you can apply in order for you to save cost but still end up with a satisfying outcome are the following:
Size – you don’t need to consume all the vacant space of the kitchen. You just have to design it in a way that all you need are placed orderly and that you have enough space to walk. Don’t exaggerate the size especially if it doesn’t fit the overall design of the house.
Simplicity – have the renovation designed in a way that only important things and parts are involved. Being complex and complicated don’t really add to the beauty of the renovation in fact it will just ruin the real beauty of simplifying the design and just use simple yet elegant looking furniture and wares.
Floor Plan – make your floor plan an open-ended one, this way you can easily adjust to the design without the fear of wasting the materials and money you have already utilized.
Choice of Materials – you don’t need to purchase class A materials which are really expensive but you shouldn’t buy substandard materials, too. There are alternatives and options for any materials so you need to know what they are and where to get it.
Pressure – stay away from pressure and don’t get too excited to finish the job urgently. Just relax and let the professional renovators do their jobs.
For a person who don’t have background in construction, the term underpin is a really big question. Underpin or underpinning briefly describes the instance where you create a stronger support to a weakened structure or wall. This task is performed by professional contractors only and they are the ones to recommend to you that your house already needs underpinning.
But when does underpinning a need for your home? Do you wait for your wall to collapse before you decide to undergo underpinning?
There are common instances that underpinning is needed and it comes in the form of renovating your home. These instances can be identified in the following scenarios:
Moved building structure - soil are capable of loosening or erodes. When soil subsides or just naturally changed its condition, your home is totally affected by it and you will notice it by means of cracks or slanting walls. When these things are already manifested in your house, you should immediately call for a professional help of a contractor.
Expansion above or below the house - when you decide to expand another storey below or above your existing house, you will need a deeper foundation to support the expansion. If you don’t underpin, your whole house will collapse because it can’t contain additional weight of the new storey.
Underpinning is not easy nor a fast process. It takes proper planning and only the services of a professional contractor can perform this type of work. If you decide to do it on your own or ignore the step of underpinning, you will really suffer the risks and consequences of it.
So before you even decide to extend your house and do some renovations, ask for quotations or hire a contractor for professional recommendations so as not to waste your money.
Home renovation is a must especially when your family is getting bigger and your house is getting older especially when you want beautification and change. But it is also a fact that renovation is a heavy burden to your pocket so the tendency is for you to delay it or apply a loan with high interest rate. But don’t you know that there are economical ways and techniques that you can apply when you want to pursue your home renovation?
You may want to apply these tips to make your home a better place to live in:
One of the tips that you can apply is when you want you’re a stainless steel appliance, you can use peel and stick contact paper that has a stainless steel finishing since it is cheaper and yet an effective alternative.
When it comes to furniture, you may want to change the covers to slip-on with vibrant colors to choose. This way, you don’t need to repaint the walls or buy new furniture. You can decorate your home by changing the curtains or covers of your furniture and you can even make it to a point that you change the motif once or twice a month.
You can also do a rearrangement of your interior or you may want to realign your pictures and place more wall photos with a pattern arrangement. If you are fond of painting, you can also do your own canvas and have it displayed in your dining or living room. This is way more attractive than buying paintings.
Plants can also add to the beauty of your home. You can develop your garden or place plants inside your house. These simple tips are guaranteed to beautify your home but at a very economical cost for you.
Underpinning job requires a professional contractor to do the work. If you are planning on expanding your home for another storey, it should be able to go through the regular process of getting permits for the construction wherein the underpinning task is included.
In order to have a successful underpinning job on your house, you need to hire first a professional contractor that can perform the task. This contractor should be able to provide you with a computation for the estimated expenses to be incurred and at the same time can also give you a proper layout plan on the job such as the length of time to finish the task, the materials needed, the steps in doing the task and where to start the work. A licensed and professional contractor should also be able to provide their own equipment and machineries to be used during the underpinning and it should always be supervised by a higher authority of their company.
Once the contractor is available, the budget that needs to be allotted on the job wherein the labor cost is also included and other projected expenses that you can tag as miscellaneous. The contractor should be the one to get the mandated permits in your place. These permits still fall on the construction category. You may also want to accompany the contractor. Permit such as building permit should always be visible in your place to avoid problems that may arise pertaining to permits.
The agreement between you and the contractor can possibly be in written form, too, so as to guarantee that there is existing work to be done. Asking for receipts and other documents is also you right as the owner or client. This way there is transparency between two parties. Lastly, always pay on time!
Renovating one’s home can feel like a monumental undertaking for the average homeowner, and trying to find green and sustainable ways to do it makes the task even more challenging. But don’t worry, we at Monterrey Design Build Inc. have put together a list of tips to make your green renovation easier.
1. Examine your Layout before Starting
To reduce your home’s energy consumption, you want to think of ‘passive design,’ design that takes advantage of your climate patterns to maintain a relatively comfortable range of temperature in your living spaces. To do this, you must first the layout of the space.
2. Use the Right Materials
Make it a point to reuse materials from your home whenever possible. And when you do need new materials, try to search for local sources of recyclable, recycled, and sustainable materials. Sustainability is all the rage now in construction, so you’re bound to find something to fit your needs here in Toronto.
3. Be Smarter with your Water
You can make your home more sustainable by finding ways to collect and reuse water more efficiently. A good way to do this is by installing a water tank, which collects rainwater you can use for watering your plants, doing your washes, and even washing your clothes.
4. Switch to Better Lighting and Use More Natural Light
When redesigning a space, consider how the windows are positioned in relation to the direction of sunlight. Does the space have east-facing windows? Can you afford to add a new one? This option is often more costly, but it does save you money otherwise spent on keeping your lights on during the day.
Another way to be smarter with light is to switch to more energy efficient artificial lighting. LEDs have grown to become the gold standard in this area, using up to 90 percent less energy than traditional bulbs.
5. Reuse and Recycle Renovation Waste
Breaking down an old wall? Don’t let all that old wood go to waste! Use whatever you can in side projects or better yet, sell whatever reusable items you may find at low prices to interested organizations.
At some point, every homeowner is probably going to want some extra space, be it for a new bedroom, a home office, or—if you’re a guy—a man cave. An often-underutilized space in many homes is the attic, making a common and smart option for you to renovate your home without making a drastic addition.
Below are some smart tips on how to renovate your attic as smoothly and quickly as possible.
1. Check Local Building and Safety Codes
Enforcement of building and safety codes varies around North America, but in Canada, attics are usually not intended to be living spaces, so you may want to check with a contractor if a renovation is possible. You’ll also want to hire an engineer to check your house’s foundation and see if it can handle the added weight.
2. Go for Ceiling Fans
Rare is the attic with huge floor space. A ceiling fan makes for a clever addition to your attic, as it oscillates air, generating a cool breeze during the summer. Come wintertime, you can then use the same fan to push warm air to the floor. Just be sure you have the headroom for a fan.
3. Beef Up your Floors
The fancier, more expensive option to reduce noise in your attic floors for the benefit of those downstairs is to replace the planks with beefier floor joists. If this is not an option, you can fill the floor bays with insulation to reduce movement. Another low cost option is to add carpet or rugs to areas known to creak.
4. Shell Out the Extra Cash for Spray-Foam Roof Insulation
Although it costs at least twice as much as fiberglass batt insulation, spray-foam roof insulation forms a much tighter air seal, and you get the same level of insulation with just a few inches of the stuff, giving you more headroom. You want to keep the attic warm and toasty, and since it’s closer to the roof where most heat escapes, it requires some special insulation measures.
Although renovating parts of your home, like your home office, can be a rewarding investment, both to your productivity and the value of your home, it can be tough having to make a disruptive change to your workspace.
For many people, their home office is often a mess, albeit a controlled one. Because of this, you may be hesitant to make a change in the magnitude of a major renovation, thinking it means having less control and even more chaos in your office, what with possibly adding new furniture, moving things around (which can often mean losing things), and losing track of certain office items.
Here are 4 tips to make a renovation less painful and more hassle-free.
1. List Things Down
A renovation is the perfect time to make an inventory of your home office items, taking note of what you use frequently, and what you can pack away—and maybe even sell or donate to charity—while renovating the area.
2. Backup your Data
Renovating your home office often means having to cut power, something that may result in loss of data in your hard drives, especially when writing data. Backup all essential data just in case things go awry with your storage.
3. Take Photos Before Renovation
Taking a photo of things like tech setups (e.g. routers, network cabling, power lines) that need to broen down before a renovation makes it easier to reassemble them after the job. You’ll thank us for all the time you save.
4. Label, label, label
The last thing you want to do is scramble through several boxes trying to find out where you stored which item. The rule is simple: store your things according to a category and LABEL the box or container.
These tips may seem simple, but they work wonders in speeding things up and preventing the small headaches you might get during the renovation process.
Going over the budget is perhaps any homeowner’s biggest fear when renovation is concerned. And you have a good reason to be worried. It’s incredibly difficult not to shell out more money than you want to on a home improvement project, not just because of additions you want, but also because of unforeseen expenditures you might encounter over the course of the project.
The good news is that you can cut costs without necessarily cheaping out. Here are some ways to get your dream home improvement results without sacrificing quality and elegance.
Think Twice Before Hacking Away at your Walls for More Natural Light
Natural light is great. Hacking away at a wall to make a new window? Not so much. Before you cut a hole in one of your home’s walls and worry about the framing, you can turn to less invasive, not to mention cheaper alternatives. For instance, if your goal is to bring in more sunlight to a hallway or bathroom, a light tube, or sun pipe, which you can install between roof raters, can stream in sunshine into your desired spaces.
Go to Recycling Centers
If your home improvement project is a DIY affair, you can really reap big savings by hitting recycling centers and looking for second-hand fixtures and building materials. These items might be used, but many of them are still in good condition.
Organizations like Habitat for Humanity (which operates ReStore branches in Torornto) offer big savings on a wide variety of salvaged materials. The only problem with this option is that most contractors refuse to work with salvaged items and items supplied by the homeowner in general, since they want to avoid any potential liability issues such items might bring.
Look into your Contractor’s Stash
Most subcontractors will have remaining stock items left over from other jobs. Need hardwood? Your contractor might have worked on a bar or restaurant that had too much of it. Most of the time, these items just go to the trash, so don’t be afraid to ask around. You can save thousands in material costs by taking in leftovers.